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Meaning and etymology of the name Ashkenaz

Ashkenaz Ashkenaz

Ashkenaz is the son of Gomer, son of Japheth, son of Noah (Genesis 10:3).

Neither NOBS Study Bible Name List, nor BDB Theological Dictionary offers any explanation of this name but Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the following:

The name Ashkenaz can be seen as to consist of three parts:
1) The Hebrew word esh (`esh) meaning fire. This word is poetically charged with the meaning of life by God, or life by God provided (Genesis 3:24; Genesis 15:17; Exodus 3:2).
2) The Hebrew comparative particle ke (The particle ke) meaning as, like.
3) The Hebrew verb naza (naza & 1336). Naza (1335) means sprinkle or slight spatter, referring to cleansing of sin. Naza (1336) means leap up or leap upon.

Whether intentional or not, for a Hebrew audience the name Askenash would have sounded as Fire Like Sprinkles. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names renders this name as So Fire Is Scattered.



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